Saturday, 26 October 2013

'The Drowned Man' Temple Studios ****

Punchdrrunk's latest devised production is 'The Drowned Man' and it most definately got a lots of highs and some lows. The immersive journey is set in the abandoned Temple Pictures and tells the story of two couples Wendy and Marshall and William and Mary who are both going through the exact same situations and invetibaly ends in utter devestation. The shows design was phenomenal and incredibly immersive where we are given the freedom to touch the objects, which is what you would expect from an immersive theatre piece. So a huge congratuations to the designers Livi Vaughan and Beatrice Minns for using a eclectic array of materials and for using the buildings dimensions so efficiently. Unfortunatrly in terms of immersive acting I was quite disappointed by this as the audience and actor relationship was hardly apparent. and if you do go and see an immersive theatre piece you expect the entire immersive exprience which I didn't obtain sadly. However the acting performances outside of the immersive atmosphere was superb as they convey the unemployed workers of a defunct movie studio to a high professional standard. At certain points I found the prodcution to be quite scary , this was largely due to the sound design by Stephen Doyle. This encapsulates the chilling atmosphere and the lighting design by Mike Gunning was brilliant as again conveys the murderous situations that are exuded throughout the performance.. In my opinion I think that the direction from Punchdrunk's directors Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle was exceptional as they have been able to to create a world in a large space that depicts a dark and mysterious journey of the abondoned film studios and it seems to convey a high successful level of collaboration that was exhibited throughout all areas of the theatre making process. I think that for Punchdrunk to return to their home country and stage a piece of theatre here was a very good choice and it seems to appeal to quite a broad range of audience so my final words are "well done Punchdrunk".      

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